Thursday, January 28, 2016

Free Printable Girl Scout Cookie Thank You Notes

Updated November 2019 

If you are knee deep in cookie sales, please visit this blog post from last year's cookie selling season to get your hands on some free printable Girl Scout cookie thank you notes. 

Photo from Pixabay

There are several different resources for you to use.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

World Thinking Day Meeting Ideas for Daisy Scouts-A 5 Step Plan

Updated December 2020

If you are still trying to figure out what to do for World Thinking Day, here is a quick and easy lesson plan for you to follow.

Quick and Easy 5 Step Meeting Plan for Girl Scout World Thinking Day

Image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Canva

Step 1-Pick a Country

Since this is Daisy Scouts, it does not have to be "girl led"- select a place that is easy for you! At the Making Friends website, they have plenty of ideas for several different countries. 

Once you have selected a country, run off a free printable passport for each girl to make. If you do not want to use your own ink, go to a store to run them off and save the receipt for reimbursement. 

Step 2-Get Pictures

Back in the pre-internet days when I first started my teaching career, I had to use books to show pictures of places to my students. You can do the same. You can also go to a travel agency and get brochures and make a poster of the things you want the girls to know.

Step 3-Get Moving

World Thinking Day Meeting Lesson Plan-quick and easy to follow!

Image from Pixabay

After the girls have learned a bit about the country, it is time to have them do some dancing! YouTube is a fantastic resource for you. When I did the Junior Girl Scout Dance badge with my troop, I learned how to do the Mexican Hat Dance and relearned how to do the Israeli Mayim (water) Dance to teach the girls. Don't be shy...little girls can only sit for so long and if you want the next part of the meeting to go well, they need to get the wiggles out.

Step 4-Craft Time

Make a craft or Swap that represents the country. Again, the Making Friends website makes this a no-brainer to plan.

Step 5-Let's Eat!

To end your meeting, have prepared a treat from this country. You can make it at home or if it is no-bake, be adventurous and have the girls make it at the meeting. If the girls do not want to eat it, then that is their choice.

There you have it...a quick and easy World Thinking Day lesson plan!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Valentine Day Craft Supplies for an Easy Meeting

Updated November 2019

*This post contains affiliate links.
Photo from Pixabay
Easy Valentine's Day Craft Ideas for Your Girl Scout Meeting

Cookie season is in full swing and you are probably knee deep in booth sales, walkabouts and other cookie related activities. Why not take a break from Girl Scout cookies and plan a Valentine's Day party with your troop?

With easy to use Valentine's Day craft kits and party supplies, you can plan your meeting in a short amount of time. Here are a few items for your troop to use.

Valentine's day craft kit with 915 craft pieces

Here is a Valentine's Day craft kit from Amazon that contains 915 pieces! Included are :

  • 108 Foam Shapes, 25 Sticky Back Gems
  • 708 Foam Stickers, 72 Pom Poms
  • .17 oz (5 g) Spangles

Use this to create cards, decorate bags, make magnets...the choices are limitless. With so many items, this can easily be used for Mother's Day and Father's Day as well.

If you do not need this many craft items, here is a wonderful Valentine's craft kit for Daisy Girl Scouts that is easy to assemble.

Daisy Girl Scout Valentine's Day craft kit for 12

The craft kit in the picture above comes with enough for 12 girls and includes:

  • Design It Yourself Foam Valentine Craft Kit 
  • 24 foam hearts / 832 foam stickers
  • Hearts (5" - 6") ~ sticker (1/2" - 1 1/4")
  • Stickers include shapes and letters

You can find it on Amazon.

These nesting heart cookie cutters can be used to bake treats as well as be used as tracers for crafts.

I love this set of 6 nesting heart cookie cutters. You can bake cookies at home in heart shapes for the girls to decorate as a gift and craft. You can also bake a pan of brownies and have the girls cut out the heart shape to decorate and wrap up...or just eat it at your meeting!

This 6 piece set is an investment for a small price. The hearts can be used as tracers for crafts over the years, and it can be used for other holidays as well. Find this and other heart shaped cookie and cake decorating items on Amazon.

Red buttons for Valentine's Day craft

How can you use this package of red buttons for a craft? Cut out a heart shape onto cardstock of cardboard. Have the girls write a message on the inside and glue the buttons on the perimeter of the heart. The girls can write something like "I love you sew much!"

You do not have to overthink the Valentine's Day holiday. Just get some fun crafts together, some candy treats, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Valentines's Day Crafts and Resources for Girl Scouts-Incorporate World Thinking Day

Updated November 2019

Valentine's Day celebrations around the world for kids

Photo from Pixabay

One month from today is Valentine's Day. Kids get very excited about getting those little paper cards from their friends, getting little candy treats and maybe even a gift from their parents.

With World Thinking Day the following week, why not try to incorporate both in one meeting? Here are some resources for you to use to see how Valentine's day is celebrated around the world.

Are you planning on doing a Valentine's Day activity with your troop?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Activities and Free Resources for Girl Scout World Thinking Day 2016

Updated November 2019

There are three official Girl Scout holidays, and the first one of the new year is next month, so it is time to start planning! World Thinking Day, which is celebrated every February 22nd, is when Girl Scouts from 146 countries around the world think of each other and promote the sisterhood of scouting. It involves doing a project of some kind, especially one that helps those who are living in poverty.

Each year there is a different theme. This year the theme is "Connect". 

If you are wondering how to incorporate World Thinking Day with your meeting plan, have no fear! The GSUSA has ideas for you!

Activities and Free Resources for  Girl Scout World Thinking Day 2016

Photo from Pixabay

Here is the GSUSA's World Thinking Day 2016's website. You will find what kinds of connections the movement wants girls to make. If you scroll to the bottom and click on the "Daisies, Brownies, Juniors" tab, there is a list of activities that your girls can do to earn this patch. (Which, by the way, you should order early as they tend to run out as the date approaches. Contact your local Council store to place your order.)

On the WAGGGs website, there is a downloadable activity packet for leaders. You can find it here.

Need more ideas for your meeting? Here are a few more resources for you to use.

What country are you studying for World Thinking Day 2016?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top 10 Tips for Your Very First Girl Scout Cookie Selling Season

Updated November 2019

For many of you reading this blog post, this is your first year selling Girl Scout cookies. While I personally believe that you should not sell cookies your first leadership year since everything about being a leader is brand new to you, if you accepted the challenge of selling and have already attended your training session with your Cookie Mom, here are my top tips for surviving your very first year of Girl Scout cookie sales.

10 Girl Scout Cookie Selling Tips for Leaders

Photo by Hannah Gold

1. Have a Parent Meeting

What is most essential to a successful and less stressful cookie selling season is to have parents on board with you. This meeting can be held during the first 15 minutes of your regularly scheduled meeting. Have your co-leader or an older Girl Scout lead the Daisies in an activity while you go over the nuts and bolts cookie sales.

2. Put Everything in Writing

Parents love to use the excuse of “I didn’t know!” when if comes to dropping the ball. Somehow, it is never their fault, despite the numerous emails, forms and letters you sent home and the announcements in your private Facebook group.

I learned a long time ago that a good leader needs to get everything in writing. It prevents problems and provides time stamped evidence that you did indeed inform parents of deadlines and guidelines.

Put your rules and guidelines all in a time stamped email that must be responded to. What should the email cover?

  • Parent Meeting Time
  • Paperwork 
  • Booth Sales
  • Incentives
  • How Money Will be Handled
  • How Delinquent Money Will be Handled

No response=no cookies. For extra CYA insurance, hand out the form in advance of sales at your meeting a few weeks before the actual sale. Have a place to sign at the bottom and returned to you.

3. All Paperwork Must be Handed In Prior to Selling

In order for the girls to be able to sell cookies, paperwork must be signed by the parent and handed in. Keep all paperwork in an organized binder so you can keep track of who has handed in the necessary papers and who still owes you the documents.

Girl Scout cookie selling tip-get everything in writing and have parents sign all paperwork.

Photo from Pixabay

4. Count, Count, Count Again!

Before releasing cookies to parents, both of you need to count the cookies separately and together. This ensures that there are no accounting mistakes on either part.

5. Go Over the Receipt Together 

When handing the receipt to the parent, circle the number of boxes s/he has taken. Go over it together so that both of you are on the same page. This ties in directly with #4.

NEVER hand over cookies to any parent without a receipt. This is your proof that s/he actually took the cookies.

6. Do Not Give Out More Cookies Until the Ones They Have Taken are Paid For

Suppose Susie’s parents take five cases of cookies. They want three more, but you have not received any money for the first five you released to them. You need to tell them that no cases will be given out until the first five are paid for. You do not want your troop responsible for the money if for some reason Susie’s parents never pay.

Every Council is different and some will cover part or all of your losses. See what you Council rules are regarding this matter. 

7. Don’t Overdo Booth Sales

Selling girl scout cookies

Daisy Girl Scouts have a limited attention span and ability to withstand the cold. Have a limited number of booth sales and be sure that the shifts are no more than two hours, max. The cute factor will turn into the whine factor rather quickly.

Also, do a handful of booth sales in the beginning when enthusiasm is high. Don't sign up to do one both Saturday and Sunday of every weekend. This will lead to both parent and leader burnout.

8. Set Firm Boundaries

Cookie sales can really eat up your personal time. If you are to survive with your sanity intact, you need to give yourself a break. No cookie talk/emails/texts after a certain hour. Unplug your phone and disengage from the computer. Inform parents of these boundaries and stick to them. There is no such thing as a cookie emergency that cannot wait until the next day. Hand out cookies at times that are convenient for you, not the other way around. 

9. Stock Up Your Fridge and Freezer

Because so much personal time is devoted to cookies, your desire and interest in cooking may be limited. Make some meals for the freezer for your busiest days, have your spouse do kitchen duty, and keep meals simple on booth sale days. Organic mac and cheese, soup and grilled cheese, fresh veggies and hummus, tacos, and crock pot meals can be healthy and inexpensive ways to feed your family. Your body and your wallet will thank you for not eating too much take out.

10. Do Not Take Parents Lack of Involvement Personally

You may have a girl or two not participate in cookie sales. Let it go. Unless you know exactly what is happening inside her home, this is none of your business. According to the GSUSA website, cookie selling is voluntary, not mandatory. 

Troop money is troop money, no matter who sells what amount. You can choose to aggravate yourself over this, but why would you? 

Have you learned any other tips that you wish to share?